Ending weeks of silence, an attorney for Phil Spector said yesterday (March 11) the music producer will be cleared in the death of an actress found shot to death at his mansion.

Ending weeks of silence, an attorney for Phil Spector said yesterday (March 11) the music producer will be cleared in the death of an actress found shot to death at his mansion. "I am convinced that the thorough and accurate investigation of the evidence by the Los Angeles sheriff's department, its criminalists, and the county coroner will prove that Phil Spector is innocent of any crime," attorney Robert Shapiro said in his first public comments about the case since his client's Feb. 3 arrest.

Spector, 62, was arrested for investigation of murder and released after posting $1 million bail. He has not been charged, and authorities say they are investigating.

Shapiro was responding to a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department statement that said investigators had discounted suicide as a possible cause of Clarkson's death. "If we had come to a conclusion as monumental as suicide, we would have a duty to say so publicly," sheriff's Capt. Frank Merriman said. "We believe a crime occurred."

Shapiro, perhaps best known for representing O.J. Simpson, declined to discuss what happened at Spector's mansion on the night of Clarkson's death or to say whether he believed the shooting was accidental. However, he discounted reports that four or five shots were fired. He said he had a pathologist present at Clarkson's autopsy and that it had been determined the 40-year-old actress died of a single gunshot wound.

Attorney Marvin Mitchelson, a longtime Spector friend, said the producer sent an E-mail on Monday to him and others, suggesting investigators would soon clear him and that Clarkson's death was "an accidental suicide."

"'We hate to use the words, 'I told you so,' but I did tell you so,'" Mitchelson said, quoting the E-mail. "After seven weeks of silence, we can say with certainty, this will speak for itself, and boy does it speak volumes." Mitchelson said he has not talked with Spector about the E-mail. Shapiro declined to comment on whether Spector has been sending e-mails about the case to his friends.

It may be summer before investigators present their case to the district attorney's office, Merriman said. The investigation is taking time because the evidence is complex and the forensic tests involved take months to complete.


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